Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch (born 19 July 1976) is an English actor. His most acclaimed roles include Stephen Hawking in the BBC drama Hawking (2004); William Pitt in the historical film Amazing Grace (2006); protagonist Stephen Ezard in the miniseries thriller The Last Enemy (2008); Paul Marshall in Atonement (2007); Bernard in Small Island (2009); and Sherlock Holmes in the modern BBC adaptation series Sherlock (2010). In February 2011, he began playing both Victor Frankenstein and his creature opposite Jonny Lee Miller in Danny Boyle's stage adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The play had a three-month run at the Royal National Theatre. In late 2011, he played Major Stewart in Steven Spielberg's War Horse (2011). He also played Peter Guillam, one of the pivotal roles in Tomas Alfredson's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).
Cumberbatch reprised the role of Sherlock Holmes in the second series of the BBC's Sherlock, which aired in the United Kingdom in January 2012 and was broadcast on PBS in the United States in May 2012. He also stars as Christopher Tietjens in the BBC/HBO co-production television miniseries Parade's End, which first aired August 2012. He portrayed Smaug the Dragon through voice and motion capture and also provided the motion capture for the Necromancer in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy (2012).
Cumberbatch portrayed the main antagonist, Khan Noonien Singh, in J. J. Abrams' Star Trek Into Darkness, released in May 2013, and will play WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate.